Netflix is and has always been a great place to find bingeable shows that were amazing but didn’t quite live up to their potential. It also has traditionally functioned as a much-needed repository for all those shows that were marvelous but have been off the air for so long that you almost completely forgot about them.
If you want to take a stroll down memory lane or pick up some new memories, Netflix has a great collection of bingeable shows to satisfy everyone’s need to forget the outside world exists for anywhere between eight and 24 hours or more. In fact, there’s so much content that you might miss something great despite your most noble efforts.
Fortunately, we’re here to help you find those bingeable shows that you may have missed or forgotten about entirely. Presented in no particular order, here are eleven of the best shows you may not be watching but probably should:
Jericho is one of those highly bingeable shows that didn’t do well on network television but developed a cult following thanks in no small part to Netflix. It takes place in a small town following what is best described as an almost total nuclear annihilation in the United States.
We see the citizens of Jericho, cut off from the outside world, come together to survive.
Jericho has too few episodes to do it justice. The show was canceled after the first season due to poor ratings. But a fan revolt revived it for another half-season. It was canceled again and has existed mostly in the background on streaming sites like Netflix since then. While it didn’t continue to a third season despite hopes that Netflix would revive it, “Season 3: Civil War,” happened in graphic novel form. A fourth season also arrived in comic form.
Basically, this is a show that has always enjoyed undeservedly low popularity but still manages to please its audience.
Weeds was for eight seasons one of the dankest TV shows in existence. You probably loved it. Your neighbor probably loved it. But it’s been off the air since 2012.
This award-winning show follows the story of widowed soccer mom Nancy Botwin (Mary-Louise Parker) as she sells weed to deal with her massive financial woes. What is most entertaining about Weeds is how utterly inept Nancy is at her job. That, of course, leads to numerous problems she and her family must overcome. We won’t spoil things for you, though. The premise is simple. The story is not.
There are a healthy eight seasons of Weeds, so if you’re looking for bingeable shows that will keep you busy for a couple of weeks, this is a great way to spend that time.
The Inbetweeners is another bingeable comedy with three seasons to keep you busy. Unfortunately for you, that’s a “British three seasons” so you’re looking at about 18 episodes.
The show follows a group of teenage outcasts as they do their best to navigate high school. You can think of it as American Pie in TV format but, you know, in the U.K. A seemingly neverending quest for beer and sex consumes this adorably raunchy coming of age sitcom. But that’s OK — everyone enjoys a little filth here and there.
The Inbetweeners spawned a movie and another movie. It also inspired an American spinoff that aired on MTV and was quickly canceled because audiences hated it. But the original packs a lot of flavor that the U.S. version lacked, so it’s worth a watch.
You probably loved Dexter when it was on TV. At a minimum, you’ve heard of it. But let’s be honest — when did you last watch it? Dexter has been off the air for a number of years, and it’s time you got reacquainted with the most likable serial killer on television.
The show follows Dexter Morgan (Michael C. Hall) as he conceals his serial killer persona while working as a blood spatter analyst for the Miami Police Department. Dexter lives by a strict code developed by his father to satisfy his urge to kill while still doing some kind of good in the world. Dexter generally targets criminals who have evaded the justice system, though he frequently sabotages cases so that he has the opportunity to kill them himself. What is most interesting is that the show lets you inside Dexter’s head, so you understand his motivation for everything.
Regarding bingeable shows, Dexter is a gold mine with eight excellent seasons that left audiences screaming for more. If you haven’t seen it, you need to watch it. If you’re already a fan, you need to watch it. Just do it.
The 4400 is among the bingeable shows that were very popular with fans but were canceled after a while and mostly forgotten. Fortunately, Netflix provides you with the opportunity to watch all four seasons.
A ball of light falls to earth. While everyone expected Armageddon, the light explodes and leaves behind 4,400 men, women, and children who had disappeared. Some had been gone for months. Some had been gone for decades. None have any memory of what happened to them. Complicating matters, some of the 4,400 begin to display otherworldy abilities. The show follows two NSA agents who are trying to solve the mystery of what happened.
If you’re looking for an excellent show with which to consume for life for a while, you can’t go wrong with The 4400.
Freaks and Geeks
Freaks and Geeks features a lot of very recognizable faces, just much, much younger than you are familiar with now. Seth Rogen, James Franco, and many others were part of what has been called the “most successful cast and crew” of any television show in history.
Freaks and Geeks is the 1990s equivalent of the Netflix original Everything Sucks! Both are coming of age shows that were immensely popular with fans but were canceled after a single season. Freaks found itself off air after only twelve episodes had aired. But a fan campaign encouraged the network to air the remaining ones.
The show follows a gifted high school mathlete and her younger brother as they and their “freak” and “geek” friends navigate the perils of high school in 1980-81.
Freaks and Geeks’ main ratings competitor in its time slot was the immensely popular Who Wants to be a Millionaire, so it didn’t quite get the recognition it deserved. That combined with numerous creative differences between the network and the people making the show almost ensured its short life.
The good news is that Freaks and Geeks is just one of the many bingeable shows on Netflix!
Sense8 is one of those very bingeable shows that for one reason or another found itself heavily ignored by the public at large.
Sense8 features eight strangers who are each from a different culture and a different part of the world. After a tragic death they all experience, these seemingly unrelated people feel themselves growing increasingly psychically connected. While one stranger tries to help these eight extraordinary individuals, another ruthlessly hunts them.
Netflix canceled Sense8 soon after the release of the second season. However, fans managed to convince the streaming giant to bring the show back for a two-hour series finale. Netflix obliged, allowing Sense8 to wrap up a frustrating cliffhanger at the end of the second season.
Mindhunter is a wonderfully unique Netflix original. The show takes place in the 1970s as law enforcement first attempted to understand the psychology that makes serial killers what they are. Special Agent Holden Ford (Jonathan Groff) of the FBI and his cohorts travel the country teaching local police about the use of psychology in understanding murders. Meanwhile, they interview killers so they can gain a better understanding of what makes them tick.
As a made-for-Netflix series, Mindhunter is heavily bingeable. You’ll struggle to make it through the first season in more than one sitting because let’s face it — your couch is going to absorb your very essence until you are ultimately granted the sweet release of the final credits of the season finale.
As with The Inbetweeners, the U.S. adaptation of Skins didn’t exactly set rating records and was canceled after a single season of ten episodes. Despite dismal ratings, Skins caused an uproar with groups like The Parents Television Council, which called it “the most dangerous television show for children that we have ever seen.”
The show wasn’t for children and carried a “Mature” rating, but it was (like The Inbetweeners) a rather flimsy adaptation of a more successful British show. Thankfully, Netflix provides you with an opportunity to see the original show, which ran for seven seasons.
Skins follows a group of juvenile delinquents in Bristol, South West England. Every two years the focus changes to a different group, but the theme remains the same — sex, drugs, and dysfunction.
The show puts raw, real teenage life on full display and has been criticized for its exploration of eating disorders, depression, adolescent sexuality, and other themes. The level of controversy this show has generated alone almost assures that it’s worth watching.
If you haven’t heard of Galavant, don’t feel bad. Most of the world hasn’t either if ratings are to be believed. Galavant ran on ABC in small spurts for two seasons whenever Once Upon a Time was off the air.
Naturally, its ratings didn’t quite justify a third season. In fact, ratings were frequently referenced in second season “fourth wall” breaks. The second season finale song questions whether a third season is possible. According to ABC executives, the answer is no. There was talk of a Netflix revival, but apparently, that never panned out.
Galavant is one musical comedy you don’t want to miss. Netflix, of course, has both seasons for you to enjoy. The characters are wacky. The songs are…wacky. The cast has a surprising number of recognizable faces, including Vinnie Jones, Timothy Omundson, Vinnie Jones, and many others. You have every reason to plant your posterior on the couch for this one.
Galavant is sure to bring a smile to your face. We dare you not to watch it in one sitting.
Broadchurch is a weird show — not because of its content, but because it inspired an American remake called Gracepoint with basically the same plot, starring the very same person: the very talented David Tennant. While the American version was met with “why bother?” from audiences, Broadchurch went on for two more seasons. Broadchurch, unlike Gracepoint, has been very well received.
Broadchurch kicks off with the discovery of a young boy’s body on the beach. What begins as a simple investigation into a dead body becomes a murder investigation. Really, it’s shocking how many potential killers an 11-year-old boy can have. The first series is filled with twists and turns, and the second and third ones keep the momentum going. Of course, we won’t spoil them for you.
If you want to add to your list of bingeable shows to watch on Netflix, Broadchurch is worth your time.
Binge, Binge Away!
Netflix has a lot of bingeable shows, but it’s easy to let some slide through the cracks. If you dig through the streaming giant’s multitude of offerings, you’re sure to strike gold.
These eleven bingeable shows are a good place to start. If you haven’t seen them, watch them. If you have, tell your friends about them. No matter what, be sure to check out the unfamiliar because you never know what gems you’ll find hidden among Netflix’s offerings. Which forgotten gem will you binge next?
Featured image: CC0, by Tookapic, via Pexels